Economic corridor project welcome: minister

Updated: 2013-10-29 08:58

By Zhou Wa (China Daily)

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When Premier Li Keqiang visited India in May, he for the first time officially called for establishing such an economic corridor, injecting new energy to the project.

Economic corridor project welcome: minister

Dipu Moni, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister

Besides economic cooperation, the Bangladeshi foreign minister hopes the proposal can also work as a multinational framework for comprehensive cooperation between China and three other countries.

"It is expected to also give a fresh impetus to those countries' cooperative engagements and relations with China in fields including education, culture, sports and tourism," Moni said.

The corridor will also facilitate further people-to-people contact in the region, she added.

The corridor would cover 1.65 million square kilometers encompassing an estimated 440 million people in Yunnan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, West Bengal, Bihar and states in northern India.

To realize better connectivity with regional countries, Bangladesh proposed to build a railway as well as roads between the planned Deep Sea Port in Chittagong and Kunming via Myanmar, said the foreign minister, calling for more cooperation with China in infrastructure construction.

"We always want China beside us in our effort to develop our infrastructure. In the future, I hope that the cooperation from China in this particular sector will increase," Moni said.

China is one of the most important development partners of Bangladesh. It has extended tremendous support to the country's infrastructure development, including the construction of bridges and roads.

China has built six friendship bridges in Bangladesh and the seventh one is under construction. China also built the largest conference center in Dhaka as a symbol of friendship.

Besides, Bangladesh is seeking cooperation with China in other sectors, including oceanography, housing, agriculture and ship-building, the foreign minister said.

"China is a leading country in the field of oceanography ... we would like to see a framework of cooperation in oceanography between the universities and institutions of the two countries," said Moni, hoping China can offer equipment and scholarships.

Despite having about 475 species of fish, Bangladesh has not started any serious marine scientific research and experiences occasional food shortages.

Bangladesh does not have a single trawler equipped with processing facilities, or the capacity to remain at sea for months.

Bangladesh is a country where the land-people ratio is as acute as it is in Hong Kong, with little space for horizontal expansion.

"China is known for its world-class housing projects where high-rise buildings provide not only a better housing solution but also help to turn sparse and sporadic houses into a community. We would like to propose that China consider replicating this type of housing," the minister said.

To feed its huge population, the country is also hoping to learn agricultural technology for high-production crops, Moni said.

With these potential areas in bilateral cooperation, the minister holds an optimistic attitude toward future relations with China under its new leadership.

"Our friendly relations ... have steadily deepened and become multifaceted. Frequent and regular visits between the leaders and high officials of our two countries has further cemented the bonds of friendship between our two countries," she said.

"Our government is determined to continue to further strengthen these bonds."

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